A 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her father and relatives over the last two years, Kerala police said on Saturday. The girl was even hired out to 'customers' during the course of her ordeal.
The victim's father, mother and six others have been arrested in connection with the crime.
The incident came to light when autorickshaw drivers in Kochi saw the girl walking down a road in the middle of the night. When the girl was brought to the police station, she told the police that she had even attempted suicide - only to be saved by fishermen who sent her back to her parents.
"We will conduct an identification parade on Sunday. More arrests are likely after this," a senior police officer of the Aluva range said. Her parents were reportedly separated three years ago, and the girl was sexually abused at both their houses.
One of the main accused in the case is her stepfather, with whom the mother is currently residing. Police have registered a case under Sections 366-A (illegal confinement of a minor), 376 (rape) and 377 of the IPC.
"This is shocking. We will protect the minor and provide her with all the help she needs. We need fast-track courts to try such cases," said state women commission chairman K Rosakutty.
Last week, a 40-year-old man was arrested in Kochi for abusing his six-year-old daughter after making her drink alcohol. A similar case was reported from Thalasserry in North Kerala, where a 14-year-old girl was raped by her father, brother and two uncles for two years.